Save the Date!

Annual Meeting and Luncheon

#MyOrlandoStory of the Week

Orlando Story of the Week

Cinderella Castle

My daughter was 3 months old here and her first time in the Magic Kingdom. My parents have been bringing me to Disney World since I was a little girl and now I'm continuing the tradition for her.

story of the week

Stories shared on OrlandoStories.com and using #MyOrlandoStory on social media may be featured as the Story of the Week.

Visit Orlando Events

Nov. 12
Business Referral Group

Uno Pizzeria & Grill
8250 International Drive
Cost: $18
Click here to RSVP.

Dec. 8
Save the Date!

32nd Annual Visit Orlando Meeting & Luncheon
Rosen Shingle Creek Click here to register.

Feb. 4
Member Orientation
Click here to register.
Please note: Member Orientation will not be held in December or January due to the holiday season. The next session will be held February 4, 2016.

Member Presents
Members interested in targeting the meetings and convention market can present their products or services during monthly, 30-minute sessions with Destination Services. Click here to schedule a session.

Congratulations Members

In its 28th annual Readers' Choice Awards, Condé Nast Traveler named The Alfond Inn the #7 hotel in the United States, the #1 hotel in Florida and #63 in the world.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the promotion of Ashley Fraebel to Senior Director of Events and Sponsorship. To congratulate Ashley, call 407-644-8281.

Member-to-Member Offers

The Florida Association of DMOs is seeking brief news items of 75 words or less for the "Quick Trip0s" section of its newsletter, Tourism Marketing Today. Please send submissions with a photo (if available) and a caption to editor.trainor@gmail.com. The deadline is Nov. 13 for the December edition.

Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Osceola Heritage Park for Plum Palooza and celebrate the release of the new Stephanie Plum novel, Tricky Twenty-Two. Get a signed copy and enjoy food and entertainment. Visit Orlando members will receive 10 percent off of the general admission price. Use code ORLANDO. Purchase tickets here.

Through Nov. 15, Florida HIA (Hospitality Industry Association) is offering discounted rates on membership for Visit Orlando members and their employees of $25 per membership ($5 off regular price) and up to 50 percent off of company memberships. Florida HIA provides members with more than 50 free attractions and hundreds of exclusive discounts around the state. Be a tourism advocate for your employees and encourage them to experience Florida. Click here for more information.

Visit Orlando members are invited to attend the RTO Summit Orlando Symposium and Luncheon, Monday, Nov. 16 at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek for a special price of $395. Panel sessions will feature the latest on the growing Middle East and India markets to Orlando, perspective on the evolving Brazil market, and more. Click here to register.

The Spa at Hyatt Regency Orlando is offering Visit Orlando members 20 percent off of spa and salon services, through Nov. 30. For more information and reservations, call 407-345-4431 or contact Carol Cox.

Regal Oaks - A CLC World Resort is offering an exclusive rate for Visit Orlando members of $99 per night for a two-bedroom townhouse, Sunday through Thursday, and $119 per night, Friday through Saturday; based on availability. The offer is good through Dec. 15. For more information, call 407-997-9478 or click here. Reference offer code: VIOR15.

Book your next staycation at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, located in the Downtown Disney® Resort area, and receive 30 percent off of the best available rate. Relax poolside with a refreshing beverage from the Oasis Bar & Grill while the kids have fun at the aquatic playground. Then, enjoy a great night's sleep in one of the spacious guest rooms. For reservations, call 800-624-4109 and mention this offer. Seven-day advance booking required. Subject to availability. Rate code: DISVOMD. Offer valid through Dec. 24.

The Church of Life has expanded its preschool by 1,000 feet! Through Dec. 31, Visit Orlando members can enjoy 50 percent off of the registration fee, as well as 15 percent off of the weekly fee. For registration information, please click here.

Lovespoon Candles offers locally produced soy candles that make unique, special gifts. Visit Orlando members are invited to enjoy a special price of $17 each, tin or jar (regular price $27.95 and $23.95, respectively), through Dec. 31. Click here for more information.


OrlandoConventionPhotographers.com, which provides creative, experienced and professional photography services, is offering Visit Orlando members a great deal for the holiday season. Through Dec. 31, receive 25 percent off of photography for your holiday party. For more information, click here.

Industry Events

Nov. 7
2015 VRM Awards Gala
Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa

Nov. 16
RTO Summit Orlando
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek

Dec. 15-19
3rd World Research Summit for Tourism and Hospitality and 1st USA-China Tourism Research Summit: Transforming Partnerships
UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management

International travel to the United States generated $220.8 billion in 2014, supporting 1.1 million jobs. China is an important contributor to those numbers as the No. 2 country for visitor spending to and within the United States in 2014, with an estimated $23.8 billion spent on travel and tourism. With this backdrop, the 1st USA-China Tourism Research Summit is being designed by UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management and Elsevier to support and promote the dynamic hospitality/tourism business growth and exchanges between USA and China. Industry experts, leading scholars, and government officials from both countries will offer cutting-edge insights through keynote speeches, panel discussions, open forum discussions and more.

Community Events

Through Nov. 29
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition
Orlando Science Center

Through Jan. 8, 2016
Connecting to Cuba
Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum

Nov. 7
Eighth Annual 5K Run for The Gift
Southwest Aquatics

Nov. 12-15
International Peace and Film Festival
Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal

Nov. 13
American Lung Association's
SeaWorld Orlando - Sea Harbor Pavilion and Ports of Call

Nov. 13-15
25th Annual Holiday Open House
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards

LakeRidge Winery

Nov. 13-15
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Nov. 14
5K Gingerbread Run
Give Kids The World Village

Nov. 14
15th Annual Dancing for Diabetes
Seminole High School

Nov. 14
24th Annual Pioneer Day
Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek

Nov. 16
Military Appreciation Day: Festival of Trees
Orlando Museum of Art

Nov. 19
Champion of Choices with Marc Mero - Dream Big Tour
Lake Mary Prep

Nov. 20-22
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Nov. 26-29
Central Florida International Auto Show
Orange County Convention Center

Dec. 2
Christmas at the Casa
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum

Christmas at the Casa

Dec. 11-13
Ladies Tennis Getaway at Disney
Walt Disney World Resort

Dec. 19
Inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl
presented by Florida Hospital

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Jan. 23, 2016
Color In Motion 5K
Artegon Marketplace

Jan. 24, 2016
Bach Festival Society of Winter Park - Red Priest
Rollins College, Tiedtke Concert Hall

President & CEO's Message
November 6, 2015


George AguelWith the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, there's not a lot of time to register for Visit Orlando's Annual Meeting and luncheon on Dec. 8 at Rosen's Shingle Creek Resort. As a destination, our entire tourism community pulled together this year to achieve what all indications suggest will be another historic, record-breaking year for our community. As a friend of tourism you won't want to miss the recap of 2015 and "look ahead" at what's in store for 2016.

If you haven't heard, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich has accepted our invitation to share his outlook on next year's economy and Presidential race, as well as the resulting effects on our businesses community. Our local business and Central Florida community leaders alike will surely find this very special keynote presentation fascinating.

Please join Visit Orlando's Chairman of our Board of Directors Peter Kacheris and myself for what promises to be a memorable event. Click here for registration information.

-George Aguel

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From the Research & Insights Desk of Visit Orlando

TDT Collections Set September Record

The Orange County Comptroller's Office reported that collections of the County's tourist development tax totaled $16,114,800 for September. Collections were 17 percent higher than the same month in 2014 and set a record for the month of September. With Orange County's fiscal year ending in September, collections in fiscal 2015 rose 12 percent to an all-time high of $226.2 million.

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Visit Orlando Updates

Emirates FAM

Visit Orlando Hosts Hyatt Emirates FAM

This week, Visit Orlando assisted with the Hyatt/Emirates familiarization tour from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The group included participants from nine key travel agencies, as well as one Hyatt and two Emirates representatives. The group enjoyed VIP tours at Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and I-Drive 360, experienced Orlando dining, and the accommodations and amenities of local Hyatt Regency properties.

Top U.K. Magazine Features 48 Hours in Orlando

Following a group press trip hosted by Visit Orlando, Fabulous, the U.K.'s most read woman's magazine with a circulation of 1.5 million, shared a 48-hour Orlando feature story. The itinerary covered Orlando's theme parks, shopping, and dining and entertainment options.

Mexican Media Cover the Destination as New Service Launches from Mexico City

El-Financiero As a result of a group press trip held Oct. 2-6 in partnership with JetBlue Airlines to promote new direct service from Mexico City to Orlando, the Visit Orlando team secured coverage in several different media outlets. El Financiero, a newspaper specializing in finance, economics and business in Mexico, published a cover story showcasing Orlando's theme parks, Rosen Shingle Creek, I-Drive 360, Skeletons: Animals Unveiled, restaurants, shopping and much more. Milenio, a major national newspaper in Mexico, also published a two-page story on what to do in Orlando beyond the theme parks, in addition to promoting JetBlue's new direct flight. Travel Report México offered TV, print and online coverage that revealed 10 reasons to visit Orlando. Click here to read the full story, or here to watch the video. Additionally, as part of our continuous media outreach efforts, Food&Travel magazine featured Halloween events at Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort.

Orlando Welcomes Pakistan Media Group

In partnership with Emirates, Visit Orlando hosted a group of six media representing lifestyle and business publications in Pakistan. The group received an introduction to Orlando's top theme parks and learned about Orlando beyond tourism through a presentation from Orlando's Economic Development Commission.

Travel Leaders

Visit Orlando Exhibits at Travel Leaders National Meeting

The Travel Leaders National Meeting was held Oct. 29-Nov. 2 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, where travel agents were able to choose from more than 70 workshops throughout the week. The increased focus on education and training is in line with this year's theme, "Expect the Best." Visit Orlando exhibited at the trade show, provided pre- and post-offers from our members, and also hosted an all-day sightseeing tour to Winter Park and International Drive. Above, from left: Rebecca Naugler, Yamonee Barboro, Noraima Mejias, Sonya Fletcher and Jo Ann Buening.


Visit Orlando Represented at PCMA Capital Chapter Annual Meeting

On Nov. 3, the WDC-based Visit Orlando sales team attended PCMA Capital Chapter Annual Meeting, REWIND 2015 - Year in Review, at the Washington Hilton. More than 265 association and industry leaders joined together to network and honor the chapter's accomplishments. The Capital Chapter is the largest PCMA chapter and is known for its innovative educational programming, impactful community outreach, and high energy networking events that are focused on the meetings and convention profession. Above, from left: Sandy Hower and Liza Trey of American College of Radiology; Faye Memoli, Visit Orlando; Lenay Gore of American Public Transportation Association; Matt Wales of American Association of Colleges for Teachers of Education; and Barbara Herod, Visit Orlando


B-Resort FAM

Visit Orlando Hosts Dinner for Media

Visit Orlando hosted a media group for dinner at SLATE restaurant this week. The group is here for a familiarization tour at the B Resort, which will include site visits to Disney Springs and various areas of Winter Park. 

Jay Santos

Jay Santos Recognized for Contributions to Tourism

FENACTUR, an association of more than 24 states and 25,000 travel agents in Brazil, recently honored Visit Orlando's Jay Santos during its annual "Feijao Amigo" (Friendly Bean) dinner his for contributions to tourism from Brazil to Orlando. More than 300 people were present at I-Drive NASCAR and every guest was given an apron (a tradition at the event) with the names of the sponsors and Jay Santos' name featured prominently. Jay was presented with a trophy and thanked all of the guests in attendance.

Visit USA

Travel Agent Training Held in Germany on Halloween

Visit Orlando, along with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, participated in Visit USA Germany´s Halloween training on Oct. 31 at Frankfurt Airport. Now in its sixth year, the event involves a whole day of presentations to some 110 travel agents in small groups, followed by a Halloween party. At the end of the evening, Visit Orlando presented a grand prize package.


Convention Sales Updates Top HelmsBriscoe Associates

At the 2nd Annual HelmsBriscoe East Coast Regional meeting last week in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ken Barnett of Visit Orlando spoke about all that is new and changing in Orlando. The meeting brought together more than 130 associates, along with some of HelmsBriscoe's top executives, for three days of educational meetings, networking and team building. Above, from left: Greg Malark, chief operating officer for HelmsBriscoe; Ken Barnett, Visit Orlando; and Bill Briscoe, chief industry relations officer and co-founder of HelmsBriscoe


Convention Sales Team Attends Rejuvenate Marketplace

A member of the Convention Sales team just attended the Rejuvenate Marketplace in Dallas, Texas. This conference allows participants to network with more than 500 faith-based meeting planners. In conjunction with the event, Visit Orlando, the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Hotels hosted 18 clients at the American Airlines Center to watch the Dallas Mavericks in action.

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News About Orlando

Next Week at the Convention Center

Group Meeting Start End Estimate Attendees Estimate Economic Impact
American Heart Association Annual November National Scientific Session Nov. 8 Nov. 11 20,000 $39,400,000


Surprised? Orlando Named a Top Destination for Conferences

When it comes to the best cities for professionals, academics or hobbyists to meet others in their field, Orlando ranks among the top destinations, a new study by SmartAsset shows.

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Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray to Speak at Major NBCUniversal Event in Orlando

NBCUniversal has a star-studded lineup coming to Orlando for its "Know Your Value" event.

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I-Drive Plan Reveals More Details on Tourism Corridor's Future

The I-Drive vision plan, presented by Orange County Planner Alberto Vargas, aims to break South I-Drive into seven sub-districts, each with improvements and an identity to help further promote business growth.

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Disney Springs Hotel Will Reveal $10M Renovation

A $10 million renovation at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort will be finished in the next few weeks.

Read More



Work Begins on Universal's Jimmy Fallon Ride

Fallon, host of "The Tonight Show," used social media to share glimpses of the process, including pictures of him on a set, wearing a black body suit with multiple electronic attachments and sitting behind a steering wheel.

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Construction Update: I-Drive's Mango's Tropical Cafe Closer to Showtime

The interior of Mango's Tropical Cafe looks like a tropical paradise floated from Miami Beach and landed on International Drive.

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State Approves UCF Hotel Proposal

The University of Central Florida got the stamp of approval to move forward with the hotel and conference center proposed for its main campus.

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Bleisure Travel Shows Orlando Parks Not Just for Kids

A helicopter manufacturer landed a new model chopper at Walt Disney World. A tech conference booked Universal's Harry Potter park. Those are just a few examples of how conventions and conferences take advantage of Orlando, Florida's theme parks when they hold their meetings there.

Read More

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Industry News


U.S. Adds U.K. to Select Nations Granted Fast-Track Entry

The U.K. will become the sixth country whose citizens are eligible to apply for fast-track clearance of U.S. customs and immigration controls.

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The Bind on Federal Travel

It's been over three years since an inspector general's report shone a spotlight on a lavish, taxpayer-funded training conference held by the General Services Administration. Following the report's release, Congress and the Office of Management and Budget placed well-intentioned restrictions on federal workers' travel to scientific and technical meetings - and in doing so diminished their ability to engage in the collaboration with private-sector peers that is so critical to scientific innovation.

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6 Charts Showing U.S. Travelers' 2015 Holiday Season Hotel and Airline Bookings Trends

Last-minute airline and hotel bookings during the holiday season are a predominant practice for Americans in search of the best deals to get home for the holidays or away for relaxation.

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Study: Millennials Embrace Business Travel, Meetings

Despite their strong penchant for technology, virtual meetings don't cut it for Millennials, 57 percent of who say technology can never replace face-to-face meetings to get business done, finds new research by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

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MPI Acquires Plan Your Meetings

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) acquired the assets of Plan Your Meetings, a privately owned educational and networking resources company based in Atlanta that produces live education, networking events, an annual meeting planning guide and a variety of digital resources and tools for meeting planners in the U.S.

Read More

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Corporate Ambassadors
ARDA Bags BB&T British Airways Clear Channel Outdoor
Darden Fairwinds Credit Union Florida Distributing Company Florida Hospital The Florida Mall
Lufthansa The Mall at Millenia Orlando Economic Development Commission Orlando Health Orlando International Airport
Orlando Magic Orlando Premium Outlets OUC Smart City Tupperware Brands
United Service Companies
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